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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 9:42 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 2:22 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Warwickshire
please :D

I've never had a full suspension bike, nor really ridden one much, but I've decided the next bike will be full suspension and I took the next step by spending a bit of time in the LBS today discussing options.

Before now I've been looking at Lapierre's, YETI 575's, Trek Fuels etc and will probably stick to 26".

Basically the chap was saying I should first decide on the amount of travel I want/need and then go for the one with the best fitting geometry.

So for general trail bashing I need to decide what to go for. So can you show me what you've got, why you bought it(type of riding) and what you think please?

Cheers

Paul


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:45 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8170
Location: new forest
tough-ish question.

modern full suss wise i have an 08 Orange st4 and an 06 patriot 66

i personally prefer single pivot full suspension bikes, purely for the ease of maintenance, multi linkage bikes are expensive to maintain even if you are capable of doing it all yourself, most have 8 bearings and the shock to take car of which are costs you simply don't get on a hardtail and are far reduced on a single pivot bike. so if you do go down the suspension route consider long term costs, ask if the parts are readily available on request, not special order, are they parts that can be sourced several years down the line etc? some brands have great designs that quickly become obsolete.

that said, in modern times i have predominantly bought 6 inch + bikes for trips to the alps then sold them afterwards (this was when i was in the trade) when i finally bought a full suss as a keeper i asked myself where i would be riding it most, home trails and wales, so i decided 4 to 5 inch for the travel. at the time i was just coming to the end of working in the bike trade at an Orange dealer and they had just launched the ST4, their first linkage bike, i trusted that the designers would get it right and one of the main testers i knew so asked his opinion based on what it would get used for from me and he thought it would be perfect for me. so that was that, i got one.

i really like it, i still mostly use it in wales, it's a little draggy on the gravel track climbs but it climbs better than my hardtail on technical climbs and downhill is a blast. the handling is spot on! in 3-4 years i have only needed to change the bearings in the frame once.

my other full suss is a patriot 66, this was designed as a do it all sort of bike by Orange, it could be set up as a 5 1/2 inch bike or 6 1/2 inch (hence the name 66 meaning 6.6 inches of travel) depending on the shock fitted. i have an air shock and a 5 inch fork and also a coil shock and a triple clamp 7inch fork. i got the frame a couple of years ago for a trip to the alps and got lucky with some cheap parts so for a week or 2 of the year it's my downhill bike but the rest of the time it's set up as a 5 inch bike and i use it in wales. again i love the way this bike rides, handling is great, again a bit draggy on the gravel climbs but not so bad climbing that i get pissed off with it and downhills are amazing on it!! :D :D

i have also ridden over the years many of the Giant designs, i think their maestro (floating pivot point) design is good but i didn't like the geometry of the frames, i felt the head angles (at the time) were too steep, i also had a Santa cruz heckler, liked it at home but not in the alps, weird that really.

there are some great designs out there though.

personally not a fan of specialized, i used to see them wear shock bodies aswel as go through bearing kits, vpp/fpp bikes (santa cruz blur etc) tend to go through bearings aswel as the linkage parts. also talk to Makster about the lapierre, his mate Paulie has one and has just had an almighty bill for pivot bearings!! some of the scott bikes have such tiny pivot bolts and bearings that they wear the holes inside the frames aswel meaning the frame dies unless you know someone capable of sleeving inside the frame after oversizing the holes! my old boss did that repair on about 8 scotts while i was there!

don't get me wrong i am not trying to put you off getting i suspension bike they are great fun but be aware they will cost more to run and on that basis i would recommend a single pivot bike, orange, santa cruz superlight or heckler, something like that.

also try and get to demo days, there are loads around the country this summer, free bikes for a day usually in good places to ride and YOU don't have to clean the bike afterwards!!

hope that helps a bit

:D


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:51 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:08 pm
Posts: 3118
Location: Woking
Unless you live somewhere quite rugged or intend to ride hard, I'd say 100mm travel is fine. My Hei Hei 100 was great at Afan on Saturday, but greater travel would have been more comfortable....

ProPedal or similar lock-out is a real bonus on the rear shock. If you stick to big brands then when the bushes wear replacements won't be a problem.

SP


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:54 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
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Location: new forest
good point, pro pedal on fox shocks is a must, the adjustability is very useful for the difference between climbing and descending especially at rocky trail centres.

SP is also right about 100mm, good enough in this country for 90% of places unless you're a nutter!! :lol:

should have said the ST4 is 100mm


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:34 pm 
Moderator /Lincs, E & S Yorks Deputy AEC
Moderator /Lincs, E & S Yorks Deputy AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:16 pm
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Location: RetroModding™ since 1988
2011 Cube Sting HPC

Image

120mm front & rear travel, carbon frame & swing arm

Bought it as the geometry and sizing fit my needs in a bike

I ride trail centres (red/black routes) and natural terrain, cross country to all mountain kinda riding

120mm travel is certainly enough for 90% of UK trails

Well specced, well built & excellent trail manners

Going up it climbs like a mountain goat & it's very composed on the descents. It's great on singletrack too. Brings a smile to my face every time I ride it

I have has 100, 130 & 140mm travel full sussers before & find 120mm to be a very good compromise between all out race bikes and big burly all mountain bikes


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:21 am 
Anglian AEC / Prison Ship Captain
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Location: LOWESTOFT the worlds smallest bore fest
Iv'e had a few now worst being an iron horse bootleg 3 frame best being my 2010 giant anthem x it rides really nice but as jonnyboy666 said the head angle is a little steep but for a 100mm all rounder there great i can ride pretty much everything hard but bearings a £60 a time for enduros plus shock bushes are extra :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:23 am 
Gold Trader / rb Rider / Special
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:26 am
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Location: Rurally close.
I only began to ride full sus as i was damaging a lot of (non suited) wheels when i first started. My finnesse has improved im sure but just stuck to full sus.

A couple of my bikes are in my signature.

I have 'defined' my riding somewhat this year and put my efforts into bikes that suit my needs much better than before.

My morewood is a real joy to ride right now and i dont think thats just because its new to me, its probably the lightest bike i have built as its the first time i have considered weight in a build.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:32 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 2:22 pm
Posts: 316
Location: Warwickshire
Great input, thanks chaps.

I certainly don't think I'll need any more than 5", thats just not the riding I do these days.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 9:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:45 am
Posts: 1136
Location: Poppy Fields
Built two Trek Fuel EX8s. One for a mate and one for myself. First foray into full sus but wishing I had done it a lot earlier. Mine has had a lot of changes over the last twelve months but I have it how I like it now. Forks are longer travel than the rear but I like it that way and it works well for me. Also there is a positive change going for a bolt through fork, very stiff now for 150mm of travel.

Build thread here.

120mm at the back and suppose front and rear should be balanced but as I say it works perfectly for me. Slackest front end on a bike I have ridden when compared to the Pace and GT hardtails I have. I like that as well but is a step away from previous.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 12:43 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 10:35 pm
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Location: The desolate flats of Cambridgeshire
Tried full suspension in the form of a Specialized epic. I chose it as I wanted something that behaved like a hardtail as much as possible but gave a bit on the rougher stuff.

Well, it wasn't for me. Even with the back end "intelligently" locking out it felt slow and heavy on climbs and compared to my Pace hardtails it just started to get on my nerves. So it was sold.

However about a month ago I went to affan on my ti Litespeed hardtail with 100mm forks and came out of the weekend with an urge to investigate full sus again.


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